MonsterTalk #038 - Ancient Alien Astronauts

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MonsterTalk #038 - Ancient Alien Astronauts

Post by DoctorAtlantis » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:17 pm

DID ANCIENT HUMANS gain their technological achievements through the assistance of creatures from other planets? This week on MonsterTalk, Dr. Feder, an archaeology professor who has taught a course on the topic, shares his thoughts. Feder is the author of Frauds, Myths and Mysteries—a book with more good scientific content on the cover than most TV shows have in an entire season.

In this episode

Morning of the Magicians
Chariots of the Gods
The claims people commonly make
about ancient aliens
The History Channel’s
Ancient Aliens series
A brief overview of some of the more popular “anachronistic” evidence
*The Antikythera mechanism
*The Baghdad Battery
*The Saqqara Bird & gold “airplanes” found in South America
*The Crystal Skulls[/list]
How archaeologists test “ancient astronaut” theories
How archaeology works
Is the Venus of Willendorf porn?

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Re: MonsterTalk #038 - Ancient Alien Astronauts

Post by Bunyip » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:02 am

Oh dear,not this tired chestnut yet AGAIN.

The Von Daniken school of history and archeaology is based on one the most common logical fallacies 'argument from on incredulity/argument from lack o f imagination so beloved of theists,aka 'God of the gaps" IE:
I'm too ignorant, too lacking in imagination or just too stupid to think of anything else, therefore aliens/God did it"

In the 1970's I read literally dozens of such books. I began with in 1970 with an article in an old Astounding magazine, by "A Russian scientist" who 'decoded" the Book of Ezekiel,arguing that it describes a spaceship and a space voyage.Later,a former NASA scientist wrote an entire loopy book,called "Spaceships of Ezekiel"expanding on the theme.

I have yet to come across ONE piece of credible evidence in any of those book .Von Daniken is arguably the silliest.The man is pathological liar and blatant fraud who actually fabricated some of his evidence.

Today the same kinds of credulous people are taken in by the fruit loopery made popular by Dan Brown.

Erich Anton Paul von Däniken (born 14 April 1935 in Zofingen, Aargau) is a Swiss author best known for his controversial claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, in books such as Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968. Däniken is one of the main figures responsible for popularizing the "paleo-contact" and ancient astronaut hypotheses.
Building on previous works by other authors (including Italian Peter Kolosimo, who was later critical of Däniken), Däniken claimed that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists, has entered the local solar system in the past, and that evidence of this past contact is abundant. He also speculates as to whether human evolution may have been manipulated through means of genetic engineering by extraterrestrial beings.

The evidence that Däniken has put forward to support his paleo-contact hypotheses can be categorized as follows:

Artifacts have been found which are alleged to represent a higher technological knowledge than existed at the times when they were manufactured. Däniken maintains that these artifacts have been manufactured either by extraterrestrial visitors, or by humans who obtained the necessary knowledge from them. Such artifacts include the Antikythera mechanism, Stonehenge, the statues of Easter Island, and the Piri Reis map.
In ancient art throughout the world, themes are observed which can be interpreted to illustrate astronauts, air and space vehicles, non-human but intelligent creatures, and artifacts of a high technology. Däniken also points out details that are similar in the art of unrelated cultures.
Origins of religions might be a reaction to contact with an alien race by primitive humans. The humans considered the technology of the aliens to be supernatural and the aliens themselves to be gods. According to Däniken, the oral and literal traditions of most religions contain references to visitors from "stars" and vehicles traveling through air and space. These, he says, should be interpreted as literal descriptions which have changed during the passage of time and have become more obscure, rather than as symbolic or mythical fiction. One such is Ezekiel's revelation in the Old Testament, which he interprets as a detailed description of a landing spacecraft.


Several scientists, such as Carl Sagan and I. S. Shklovskii, have written about Däniken's paleocontact and extraterrestrial visitation claims. Although Sagan did not rule out the possibility of visitation, he insisted that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", which Däniken fails to provide.[7]

Däniken claimed that a non-rusting iron pillar in India was evidence of extraterrestrial influence.[8] Later, Däniken admitted in a Playboy interview that the pillar was rusty and man-made, and that as far as supporting his hypotheses goes "we can forget about this iron thing."[9]

Some also question von Däniken's credibility, as he has also knowingly put forward fraudulent evidence to advance his hypotheses, such as photographs of pottery "depicting UFOs", supposedly from an archaeological dig dating back to the biblical era. The PBS television series Nova determined that this was a fraud, and even located the potter who made them. When confronted with this evidence, von Däniken argued that the deception was justified because some people would only believe his ideas if they saw actual proof.[10]

In The Gold of the Gods von Däniken claimed to have been guided through artificial tunnels in a cave under Ecuador, Cueva de los Tayos, containing gold, strange statues and a library with metal tablets, which he wrote was evidence of ancient space visitors. The man who he claimed showed him these tunnels, Juan Moricz, told Der Spiegel that all of von Däniken's descriptions came from a long conversation and that the photos in the book had been "fiddled". Von Däniken eventually told Playboy that although he had seen the library and other places he had described, he had also fabricated some of the events to add interest to his book.[11]

Some have accused Däniken of European ethnocentrism,[12] and suggested that views such as his "constitute the ultimate in racism".[13]

Ronald Story published The Space Gods Revealed in 1976, providing an almost page-by-page refutation of the hypotheses and evidence in Däniken's Chariots of the Gods?." onclick=";return false;


Spacships Of Ezekiel
In The Spaceships of Ezekiel Blumrich asserts that Ezekiel's account in the Bible was not a description of a meeting with God in a prophetic vision, but a description of several encounters with ancient astronauts in a shuttlecraft from another planet.

Ezekiel was an Old Testament prophet who wrote about several visions he had in which he said God showed him the future and gave him various messages to deliver. Ezekiel describes seeing God riding in a chariot-like vehicle attended by angels.

Blumrich analyzes six[9] different translations of the Bible in conjunction with his experience in engineering and presents one possible version of the story as seen by a modern, technological society. In the appendices to his book he presents technical specifications of his hypothesized spacecraft.

Blumrich also published an article on his belief, "The spaceships of the prophet Ezekiel" in the UNESCO journal Impact of Science on Society.[10] [11]

Ronald Story in his book Guardians of the Universe? [12] stated "Blumrich doctors up his Biblical quotes just a smidgen to make them conform a little better to his spaceship interpretation", and "The Spaceships of Ezekiel, in all honesty, can only be described as an extreme form of rationalisation, with a good supply of technical jargon, charts, and diagrams, carefully designed to impress the general reader. The book does contain a good collection of impressive drawings which prove nothing more than that whoever prepared them is a good draughtsman."" onclick=";return false;
Man is not so much a rational animal as a rationalising one.

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Re: MonsterTalk #038 - Ancient Alien Astronauts

Post by orlop » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:56 pm

Loved this episode. I was a big believer in Chariots of Fire and Chariots of the Gods when I was in my mid teens. When I was 20 I got to visit the Giza and was shocked by how small the 'giant' stones are that make up the pyramids and how close the site was to the Nile. That is it would have not been all that hard to drag the stones from the riverside. Same year I also saw the Roman siege ramp at Masada. It was an ah ha moment as to how to do things simply. So it is not improbable how they got the stones to the top. I stopped believing very fast. It was also very deflating to learn that adults lie .... a lot.

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Re: MonsterTalk #038 - Ancient Alien Astronauts

Post by busterggi » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:01 pm

Good episode that will need plenty of follow-up what with all the crap being spewed on the History (oh how I miss Hitler) and Discovery Channels nowadays.

'Morning of the Magicians' was a horrible read imo, Von Daniken is much more readable though even less reliable (if that's possible).

I really need to contact Ken Feder to see if he can ID a site nearby which is kinda odd, doesn't look colonial but doesn't look native either. Think he'd drive across town to take a look?

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Re: MonsterTalk #038 - Ancient Alien Astronauts

Post by GrahD » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:42 pm

A great episode, covering many of the glaring flaws in the whole Ancient Astronauts claims. However many of these were covered back when 'Chariots of the Gods?' and the later 'Chariots of the Gods' film came out.

I have in my personal library a copy of a book entitled 'Some Trust In Chariots!!' edited by E.W. Castle & B.B. Thiering.

It was a skeptical work published in Australia and which (unusually for a Skeptical publication) managed to gain a second printing (My copy is the second 1973 edition).